COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.
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Blackwell Law Firm / Alabama Work Comp LawyersA lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods in February over Covid-19 and workplace safety raises some serious issues. According to the lawsuit:

  • Tyson reported the greatest number of COVID-19 cases of any company in the meatpacking industry.
  • Tyson reported twice as many deaths as any other meatpacking company.
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Huntsville Accident & Injury Lawyers / Blackwell Law FirmI watched the wheelchair move slowly down the middle of the road. I often saw the same wheelchair as I drove home from my Huntsville office. Frequently, the wheelchair was in the middle of the road, with no lights, after dark. I worried that someone unfamiliar with the roadway may not expect or see him. It was a dangerous situation.

What if an accident occurs? What if a driver hit the wheelchair? How is the wheelchair classified? Pedestrian or Motor Vehicle?

I know, lawyers parse terms. Lawyers argue details. Lawyers harp on legal classifications. Only a lawyer would openly ponder whether someone was classified as pedestrian or motor vehicle. Yet, in Alabama accident cases, the distinction can be very important. Very important. The rules for pedestrians and cars are very different.

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Untitled-design-6-300x300Congress is considering legislation to protect people with health insurance from receiving “surprise” medical charges. You know, the huge charges for receiving medical care out of your insurance company’s network. The proposed legislation would stop exorbitant and surprise emergency charges from out-of-network doctors and hospitals.

How Do Exorbitant Out-Of-Network Medical Charges Impact Alabama Accident Victims?

You have to laugh at some of the “legal” blogs ghostwritten by marketing people for law firms. They follow a formula. Step 1, express “horror” over some problem or injustice. Step 2, build-up the problem. Step 3, carefully avoid providing any information that would educate consumers. Otherwise, they may not call. Step 4, tell the reader he or she needs to call you as the keeper of solutions. Step 5, stuff the blog post with keywords that have nothing to do with the topic but may be important to your legal services. I disagree with this “formula.” I think blog posts should be authentic and should provide real information or opinions.

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Blackwell Law Firm - Huntsville Injury LawyersA well-known work comp writer publishes an annual Top 10 list of the most bizarre workers compensation cases. When it comes to bizarre, the year 2020 really shines bright!

Three of the top 10 bizarre cases for 2020 are COVID-related. Are you surprised? I’m certainly not. More specifically, all three coronavirus-related cases involved assaults. Again, I’m not surprised at all. We lived through a turbulent year! I’m using the past-tense “lived” in the hope we are entering a time of greater stability and sanity.

When A Virus Infects The Workplace With Violence!

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Huntsville Accident & Injury AttorneysLast summer, I wrote about the mental issues (such as PTSD) faced by our first responders. Our first responders have extremely stressful jobs. They handle people and situations at the very worst moments. First responders see the worst human suffering in normal times. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the stressors faced by first responders have exponentially increased.

In my prior post, I discussed current Alabama workers compensation law related to mental injuries. Current law does not provide compensation for mental-only injuries. Mental injuries are only compensable if they stem from a work-related physical injury. The physical injury requirement is also the law in several other states.

You can read my prior article if you want a greater understanding of current Alabama work comp law. Over the years, many of our severely injured clients have dealt with psychological issues. I’ve seen the depression and anxiety suffered by clients who face chronic pain, serious disability or an inability to work. Some physical injuries such as RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) produce chronic pain so severe, mental health injuries are almost inescapable. When we help an injured client facing severe personal injuries and disabilities, we often have to fight in court to win them the benefits needed. Many insurance companies simply deny every request for mental health treatment. You won’t get the treatment you need without a fight. Where the injury and need for care is clearly documented, that’s shameful.

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Through the years, I’ve written numerous articles discussing ways insurance adjusters work to decrease or diminish the value of your claim. If you are looking for a specific topic, I encourage you to search the blog archives. We’ve addressed many accident and injury topics. If you cannot locate an answer to your questions, let us know. We are happy to discuss your issues.

Below, I’ve attached a recent slideshow detailing three simple tricks insurance adjusters use. The slideshow focuses on Alabama car accident injury claims. However, adjusters use many of the same tricks in workers’ compensation claims.

Here is our slideshow:

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Huntsville Accident & Injury LawyersA successful trial lawyer recently published an article arguing the mass-tort system is badly in need of reform. It’s a good article. He’s right. The system absolutely needs reform.

What is the mass tort system? If you are not a lawyer, you may be asking this question. Look at this way. If you suffer an Alabama car accident injury, you may have a claim against the negligent driver. If you suffer an Alabama workplace injury, you may have a claim against your employer for workers’ compensation benefits. You file your individual claim against a specific defendant in Alabama and the court decides the issues. If you suffer an injury from a bad drug or defective medical device, the concept is similar but on a different scale. You make an individual claim against the company which made the defective product. It’s you versus the drug company. We have filed many of these defective drug and device cases in Federal Court.

The difference is the number of other claims. With a bad drug or defective medical device, hundreds or thousands of people across the United States may have suffered a personal injury. Your injuries and damages are unique. No two people suffer exactly the same. But, all the cases do have a lot of similar issues related to the product. The idea is that it is more efficient for a single judge to handle pre-trial issues where all the injured parties are trying to learn this information. So, Federal Courts will assign a single judge to oversee pre-trial motions and discovery. After the claims are fully investigated and prepared, they are sent back to the local judge for your individual trial. You end where you started — You versus the drug company.

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Does-The-Insurance-adjuster-ignore-you-300x300You suffered a sudden accident at work. You are hurting. You need treatment. Questions, worries and fears race through your mind. Will I heal? Can I keep my job? When can I see the doctor? How can I pay my bills? How does work comp work? I’ve heard all the questions. I’ve heard all the frustrations. I counsel injured workers almost every single day.

Today, I want to discuss one of the most common frustrations — The insurance adjuster will not respond or return your calls. Nothing is more frustrating! If you are hurt and frustrated by an adjuster who will not respond, you are not alone. In both Alabama car accident cases and workers’ compensation claims, this is a very common problem. Adjusters bombard you when they need something or when they are pushing you to settle for a small amount. When you need something, they disappear.

Why do insurance adjusters ignore your calls? Let’s look at four primary stages in a work comp claim when adjusters disappear. What are these four primary stages of a work comp claim? Why are you being ignored? How can you respond?

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Huntsville Work Comp AttorneysIt’s an interesting question. Covid-19 vaccination is a big issue. I suspect many employers will require workers to receive the vaccination. In a recent blog post, one Birmingham law firm writes about an opinion of the Alabama Attorney General from 2003 discussing employer-provided vaccinations.

I’m not writing to discuss whether or not an employer can require vaccinations. Rather, my law practice focuses on helping those injured. So, that is also the focus of this post. My issue — Are injuries from employer-provided vaccinations compensable under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act?

Before I begin, let me say I think vaccinations are essential to public health. Like any medical treatment or procedure, a tiny risk always exists. Have you ever pulled a back muscle? If so, physical therapy may be very helpful in your recovery. Yet, you face a risk of being injured in a car accident on the way to therapy as well as a risk of injury from the therapist’s equipment. But, the benefits of therapy far, far outweigh these very remote and unlikely risks. The same is true for almost any medication or medical treatment. Any medical treatment comes with small risks. With vaccines, the benefits to you, your family and society, far outweigh any minuscule risk. Hopefully, widespread vaccination will save many lives from this terrible virus.

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Untitled-design-5-300x300Credibility. It’s one of the biggest failures in the legal field. What is a leading cause of this credibility problem? Bad lawyer advertising! Lawyer ads are everywhere. They are overwhelming. They are almost all terrible.

Instead of authenticity, too many lawyers will say or publish anything to sign clients. From fast cash promises to fake blogs to ghostwritten content, lawyer marketing is terrible. Some lawyers even chase clients and cases in legal areas they really do not handle. That’s a terrible practice and terrible insult to the legal profession. Our friends and neighbors deserve better.

If you’ve watched any television, you’ve seen the onslaught of bad lawyer commercials. Have you taken this drug? Call me! Have you been in a car wreck? Call me! Many of these advertising lawyers have never even seen the inside of a courtroom. They do not try cases. They are not going to work your case for maximum value. Some of these advertising lawyers do not even have an office in Alabama.

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